Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Thomas Dekker, Lacey Chabert, Jane Singer, Nehemiah Persoff, Susan Boyd
Director: Larry Latham
Series: An American Tail #4
Release Date: 25 July 2000
Length: 76 minutes
Movie Rating: G
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 3/5 stars
“Lacey Chabert and Dom DeLuise lend their voices to this installment of the enchanting American Tail series of animated classics. In this segment, pure-hearted Fievel the mouse is joined by his sister Tanya in a crime-fighting caper. A kidnapper (or, rather, mouse-napper) is terrorizing Manhattan, and it’s up to Fievel and the gang to put an end to his reign of menace.” — Netflix.com
This was a cute cartoon movie, but it was no where near the standards of the first two (An American Tail & An American Tail: Fievel Goes West). The animation quality just wasn’t there and it did detract from my enjoyment of the movie somewhat. Also, there were no great songs in this movie, there were a few okay songs in there, but just your standard straight-to-DVD fare. I think that the one aspect of the movie that I least enjoyed was Fievel’s character. He was so brave and strong in the first two movies – practically fearless! – but now he is suddenly having nightmares after just hearing stories about a monster who is stalking the mice in his neighborhood. Of course, children have nightmares all the time so it is perfectly normal, but it was like Fievel was younger in this movie than in all the other ones. It was just weird and did not quite fit for me, especially if this adventure took place after the first 2 where Fievel saved everyone and wasn’t afraid to confront anyone and anything!
The storyline was pretty cute, Fievel’s weird characterizations aside. I enjoyed Fievel’s adventures with the intrepid lady reporter and felt like the movie gave you a hint of what life was like during the 1800s when this movie takes place. All of the old favorites are back in this movie plus a bunch of new dogs, cats and mice who are in turns heroes and villains. I did enjoy the film, but I do not think that this DVD is worth purchasing. It is an okay rental if your kids enjoy the American Tail series, but the first two are so much better! It might just be best to quit while you are ahead and not let your kids know that they made any other movies.
There are a few scary moments where a “monsters” comes out to attack the mice, but they are not too scary. Recommended for viewers ages 4 and up.